This Bread of Peace
Today, I heard from a dear friend and sister of PulseWire, Philo Ikonya, who has just released This Bread of Peace, a book of poetry and her fifth book to be released this year. Philo has been an active contributor to PulseWire reporting on gender discrimination, human rights abuses and political corruption in Kenya, informing our members and mobilizing them into action on behalf of those without a voice.
A writer in exile in Norway after threats to her and her family's safety, Philo has found the space to continue her writing where she has been embraced by ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network). Driven by her love for the written and spoken word, languages and the unique human ability to communicate in many ways at different levels and by her second love (woven into the first), her deep interest in social issues, Philo's works are tough reflections on Kenya's governance and inaccessibility of wealth to the majority of the population.
Arrested several times for speaking out, Philo has waged a personal war against injustice and corruption in her beloved Kenya, because if not her, who will speak out for the oppressed and silent? Philo believes that in order for her country to not sink further into destruction, women's voices must be heard.
"If the women of the world seize the light, everyone will see. A woman, because of her ability not just to multi task, as most people agree, but also to connect, maybe 'multi-connect', if I may use my own word here, is able to see where the threads of peace drop, just like in a knitted jersey, and can more easily work to put society together."
I congratulate our sister Philo on the publication of her new anthology and invite you to read and experience the power of her poetry for yourself at Google Books. You can also find an interview with Philo on ICORN's site here.
And show your support for our courageous Philo whose light never dims, by writing to her on PulseWire.
"As long as you can send a message out there and someone gives you feedback, there is life!"
[postscript] I just received news that Philo was elected to the International PEN Board (International Association of Writers) in Tokyo. WOO HOO!! Congratulations Philo! We are all so proud of you.